The ongoing fight between Apple and Qualcomm could result in an import ban on all new iPhones powered by Intel.
Qualcomm requested today that the U.S. International Trade Commission place a “limited exclusion order” on all iPhones that use Intel’s 4G wireless modem. iPhones powered by Qualcomm’s chip would be excluded from the ban.
“This is a pretty straightforward case: we’ve got six patents that we are confident they are infringing,” said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel, in a statement to The Financial Times. “We are obviously very concerned about the fact that Apple has unilaterally decided it doesn’t have to pay for property it takes and uses.”
Apple versus Qualcomm
Apple and Qualcomm are suing each other in separate lawsuits. The San Diego-based chipmaker asserts that Apple refuses to pay for Qualcomm technology that is vital to the iPhone’s success. Meanwhile, Apple claims Qualcomm unfairly insists on charging royalties for technologies it has nothing to do with.
Qualcomm hopes to block sales of iPhones powered by Intel already in the United States through a cease-and-desist order, too.
Intel’s first foray into iPhone chip orders came with the iPhone 7. The company makes a modem similar to Qualcomm’s, but some tests show it’s slightly slower than its competitor’s hardware.
Despite their disagreements, Apple and Qualcomm need each other. Apple is one of Qualcomm’s largest revenue sources. And Qualcomm provides the wireless modems Apple needs to run the iPhone on Sprint and Verizon.
Qualcomm’s request to the ITC likely won’t effect Apple sales anytime soon. If passed, the ban would likely only affect iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 units.